Staff shortage in Vienna – is the protection of children and young people still guaranteed?

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Not all parents can fulfill their role. 5000 minors are currently being taken care of by the city of Vienna. The staff are overwhelmed, staff is missing. How long will this stay good?

The staff shortage now also has consequences for the child and youth care of the city of Vienna. This is the institution that takes care of the offspring whose parents can no longer do it. Of the 582 children taken away last year, only nine could be placed with relatives. The majority are taken care of by dedicated social workers who are overburdened. According to Ursula Berner (Greens), in June the employees would have informed the responsible Deputy Mayor Christoph Wiederkehr (NEOS) that the legal mandate of child protection can no longer be fully guaranteed.

Too many vacancies, too few crisis foster parents
As early as 2019, the Court of Auditors criticized too many vacancies. 42 additional social workers are to be hired. According to MA 11, 18 posts have been created, with nine more to follow in September. The rest in the next two years. If you believe Berner, that is far too little: “There are currently 78 children up to the age of three in crisis groups. At this age they should actually be with foster parents.” But here too there is a lack of resources: there are only 38 crisis foster parents in all of Vienna.

The crisis centers are already bursting at the seams
Youth flats and crisis centers are also overcrowded. “Instead of eight minors per group, there are currently an average of 13. That’s why some have to sleep on mattresses because they don’t have beds,” Berner reports. Those affected stay in crisis centers for up to a year instead of six weeks. This also creates problems for informal carers who have to do unpaid overtime or on standby.

Have acute problems been resolved?
Andrea Friemel of MA 11 strongly denies that child protection would be harmed. Crisis centers are having a hard time, but outpatient care has expanded enormously – as has the number of training places. It is unclear whether this will solve the current acute problems. At least until the children being cared for are adults…

Source: Krone

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